As a kid I have vivid memories of driving back East from Michigan or up to Northern New England with my face plastered to the glass. While the miles rolled and with a AAA Trip tik in my hand, I imagined stopping at the various points of interests advertised along the way. Billboards dotting the landscape talked about a Trading Post, or Indian Cavern and indicated that they were just a few miles off the route we were currently on. Sometimes my dad would indulge us and pull off to let us explore before getting back on the road.
I never lost that sense of wanting to get off the road to explore. Running has helped to fill that void for many years, but as this writing challenge has unexpectedly brought about some change, I have been entertaining some thoughts. If 2012, is to have no goals, what if there are some points of interest along that way, that I could pull off and check out throughout the year?
Unlike those attractions that I wanted to see as I child, these points of interest have no timetable. How I get to them and how long I stay will all be up to me. These are just a few of the points of interests that I am interested in pulling off the road to check out.
Learn a new language: I took French and Spanish in high school, but all I can remember from those classes are the horrible crepes I made for a project and my Spanish teacher’s affinity for Playboy. There is a beauty to the spoken word of a foreign language that is intoxicating.
Get Published: Writing this blog is a bit like getting published without getting rejected from a magazine, journal or website. Furthermore, there are technically no requirements for my topics, so I think that working through the process of trying to create content will be one of value.
Volunteer: Although I help coach my kids sports teams, I would like to expand my area of service. That could be at a running race or even something in the social services area of the community.
Learn to play an instrument: I picked up a guitar several years ago and quickly passed it on to one of my students. I could strum a few chords (Friends in Low Places), but never got over the initial callusing of the fingertips to build on. In essence, I never exercised the muscles enough. Maybe the guitar, but I have always had an eye on the piano.
Become more politically astute: In light of this being an election year, I must admit to being a dolt when it comes to politics. If it's in the paper, I skip over it. I really would like to understand the issues and the sides from all parties involved.
Can running help with these points of interest? Absolutely. While I am out on my early morning ambles, I can listen to podcasts that cater those points of interests so that I can maximize my time. This can serve as a springboard for my day if I am going to look into something further or practice if time is available. I won't have a Triptik in my hand, and my face won't be plastered to the glass. Instead, the window will be down and I will sticking my head out looking for a point of interest to pull off into to.
What are your points of interest for the coming year?